GlobeMed at the University of California - Los Angeles partners with the Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative in Mukono, Uganda to empower the community to live healthy lives.
GlobeMed at UCLA + Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative
GlobeMed at the University of California – Los Angeles | Los Angeles, California
Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative | Mukono, Uganda
70% of diseases in the Nama-Sub County are water-borne related illnesses.
“Mpoma has a long history working with volunteers from the United States and has seen the mutual benefit from those relationships. We consider the cultural exchange valuable for our staff, our sponsored students and our life-long partnership with the volunteers who become part of our Mpoma family.” – Alexis Barnes, Program Manager
About the Partnership
Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative (Mpoma) was founded in 1999 by a group of people, mainly women, infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in southern Uganda. Mpoma provides health and education to marginalized communities and acts on the belief that children’s well being is achieved by strengthening both the school environment and the home environment. This is done through a portfolio of projects that are locally proposed and managed, and supported by donor funding.
For the past three years, Mpoma has been working on a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) project within the Nama Sub-County. The goal of the project is to improve water access, together with sanitation and health practices within targeted communities. Within the framework of grassroots change, Mpoma focuses on empowering the communities through the creation of local Water User Committees. These committees work to accomplish WASH goals, and instill ownership of clean water sources in the community.
This year, GlobeMed at UCLA and Mpoma will be expanding the WASH (Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Project, in terms of both reach and scope. In the past two years, the chapter has worked with Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative to fund the repairs/replacements of ten water sources in seven villages– Lukalu, Lutengo, Namatagonya, Waluga, Katoogo, Buyuki, and Takajjunge. The new water sources reduce the distance community members need to travel in order to obtain safe water. In the past year, the partners have worked to establish Water User Committees (WUCs) in every village they have worked in. The WUCs, elected by the members of theeach respective village, are responsible for the maintenance of the new water source, the collection of a modest water user fee from each family (as voted on by the village), and the promotion of safe sanitation and hygiene practices among the village. The money generated from the water user fees is matched by GlobeMed at UCLA, and is used to create a savings fund dedicated to water source maintenance. As a whole, the project serves to provide sustainable access to safe, clean water within the Nama Sub-County, as well as to reduce the incidence of both waterborne and water-related disease through education and the promotion of safe sanitation and hygiene practices.
Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative is responsible for overseeing the WUCs, helping them establish their authority, providing them with the training and teaching materials necessary for educating their communities, and integrating them into existing local government. GlobeMed at UCLA is working with Mpoma to plan training sessions, to create teaching materials, and to measure the project success through annual community surveys. In addition, GlobeMed at UCLA is responsible for funding the repair of new wells, as well as biannual trainings and training packages.
GlobeMed at UCLA hopes to raise at least $11,000 to further the progress of the WASH program with Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative. This money will hopefully allow new water sources and the WASH program to evolve in new targeted villages. The Mpoma team will aid the village communities in continuing to fund their own water sources and spread awareness of proper hygiene and sanitation practice.